Dell Precision M3800 for Cubase?

Hi there,

How is the Dell Precision M3800 for Cubase?

How would you recommend the configuration?

I’m thinking of 16GB ram, 512SSD, Intel® Core™ i7-4712HQ processor (Quad Core 2,30 GHz, 3,3 GHz Turbo, 6 MB 37 W, met HD4600 Graphics), Windows 8 or 7 64bit.

I work with NI Ultimate, Spectrasonics, Toontrack as well audio recordings.

Can I use an external HD for the NI Ultimate libraries or is it better to install it on the SSD, or, is it better to have a seperate HD in the laptop?



Not familiar with that particular model, but it’s a business laptop (which means well-built, sturdy and good components) and the specs seem pretty good. Don’t bother with Win 7, Win 8.1 is actually a better engine for a DAW, even if you may not like the GUI (come on, we musicians should be practical, not fashionistas…) Besides, Win 9 is coming in a few months and reportedly it’s a free upgrade if you have 8/8.1.

Sure, you can run NI libraries from an external USB 3.0 drive, but there are a couple of things to consider:

  • External drives are often slow (5400 rpm is the norm. Large-capacity fast and portable drives tend to be expensive.)

  • USB 3.0 is not an ideal platform for streaming (SATA III way better.)

I don’t know if that particular model has room for an extra internal drive, but if it doesn’t, you can always remove the optical and put it there. One of the reasons I bought my 17" HP Elitebook is because it has room for 2 internal drives plus a swappable bay that can accommodate either an optical or a third drive. Sure, it’s not as “portable” as a Surface 3 Pro, but having three internal drives/ssd’s in a laptop is really something I now consider indispensable for my on-the-go work.

I would get the 512 SSD plus an internal SATA III 1tb 7200 rpm.

Hey Indigo,

That is good input! I think the Precision models of Dell are aimed to ‘replace’ workstations and are aimed to the creative industry, such as film and design. The Latitude models are more business oriented. The Precisions come with an i7 processor and the Latitude with an i5. I’m sure it’s still configurable. I will have to check on the extra internal HD.